Feature in Sunday Telegraph

Spicecraft was featured in the story on global dining while stuck at home in the Escape feature of Sunday Tele today. The article by travel journalist Paul Ewart looks at a variety of dine-in options available at your door Our very first article in a National paper! Did you get a look at it?

DINE LIKE YOU’RE IN OLD DELHI

A melting pot of mouth watering cuisines, exotic smells and mesmerising monuments – the ancient Indian capital of Delhi is a literal feast for the senses. It is also the birthplace of a favourite Indian dish: butter chicken. Lucky Aussies can get an authentic taste of this iconic dish in their own kitchen, thanks to Spicecraft, a home delivery meal kit service.

Created by food-loving Australian Indian couple, who managed to convince the chefs at the original Delhi restaurant that birthed the dish to divulge their recipe. The easy to prepare Butter Chicken meal kits are home delivered, helping even truly clueless cooks to whip up a butter chicken to be proud of.

Paul Ewart

Spicecraft Ingredients

Ever wonder why food made with jars and packets from the supermarket never tastes as good as the real thing? It is all about the quality of ingredients and freshness of spices. You can’t make beautiful Indian food without quality ingredients.

At Spicecraft we carefully source our ingredients from trusted suppliers from around the world depending on where they grow best.

No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives ever.

Consider the spices that go into the marinade. Kashmiri red chilli gives the dish it’s vibrant red colour and a deep smoky heat without being fiery hot. This chilli is grown in the northern parts of India.

Mace and Cardamom found in Butter Chicken Sauce Pack 2 are all about fragrance and flavour. These aromatic spices go in later in the cooking process to preserve their delicate essence.

Then you have the earthy punchiness of Fenugreek leaves

Fenugreek leaves (called Kasuri Methi in Hindi) have a slightly bitter taste. This is essential to create that distinctive balance of flavours that makes Butter Chicken one of the best loved curries in the world.

The salt in the spice mixes is Himalayan rock salt known for its purity and health benefits.

For the Saffron Rice we give you a small pinch of Grade 1 Persian Sargol saffron – the most expensive spice in the world, and aged Premium long grained Basmati Rice grown only in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Sargol Saffron comes from Iran and costs more than pure Gold by weight. This is because this grade consists only of the deep red tips of the stamens of saffron flowers.

Extracting and preserving these strands is a careful and time consuming process. It takes over 100,000 individual saffron flowers to make a single gram of the spice.

Fortunately just a few threads of this potent spice are enough to infuse our rice with that golden glow.

Basmati Rice is the quiet hero of the Spicecraft Butter Chicken Meal kit. Cooked properly it is the perfect vehicle for enjoying your Butter Chicken.

Much like fine wine, premium quality Basmati Rice improves with age. The crop is stored in grain silos for up to 2 years before hitting the market. The aging process gives the grains a creamy yellow colour. This makes for perfectly cooked rice that is aromatic, long grained, light and fluffy.

Each spice in the kit tells a story. They are then blended in exactly the right proportion to take you to Butter Chicken perfection.

How to cook perfect rice

“Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.”

Mitch Hedberg.

Cooking perfect rice can sometimes feel like rocket science. It doesn’t have to be so long as you follow the right proportions of water and rice, and use the correct cooking pan.

This simple rice recipe is gently spiced and oh so flavourful. It pairs well with almost any meat or vegetarian curry. Try it with some Spicecraft Butter Chicken or the Cauliflower coconut curry.

You will need

1. Basmati Rice 275g

2. A pinch of good quality saffron (optional)

3. Water

Cooking instructions:

1. Rinse the rice under water until water runs clear.

2. Soak rice in water for at least 15 mins, longer if possible.

3. Mix saffron into 1 cup of warm water, steep for 15 mins longer if possible.

4. Drain all water from the rice, then place the rice into a saucepan that has a tight fitting lid.

5. Top with 1.5 cups water and 1 cup of the saffron liqueur. If not using saffron, just use 2.5 cups of water.

6. Turn to high heat and bring the rice and water to a rolling boil.

7. Now turn the heat down low and cover with a lid. Cook for 8 mins.

8. Turn off the heat, do not remove lid.

9. Allow to steam for 5-10 mins.

10. Remove lid and serve hot.     

Vegan “Butter Chicken”

A delicious version of Butter Chicken made with vegan/vegetarian ingredients. Perfect if you avoid animal products or if you are trying to get some extra veggies in.

‘Paneer Makhani’, as the traditional Indian vegetarian version is known, is almost as popular as actual Butter Chicken in the subcontinent. It is made using Indian cottage cheese called Paneer, available in the dairy section of all Australian supermarkets.

But really you can use tofu, tempeh, soy protein, chickpeas and any number of veggies. Our favourite vegan option uses roasted cauliflower. Absolutely sensational!

Spicecraft kits come with the 13 herbs and spices pre-portioned for this dish. We add in different spices at different stages of cooking to build layers of flavour.

Kits do not contain any animal products at all.

Ingredients
VEGAN
  1. Spicecraft Butter Chicken kit (makes 6 serves) – 1
  2. Tomato paste – 140g
  3. Cauliflower and/or firm tofu – 500g
  4. Light Coconut cream – 300 ml
  5. Sugar – 1 tsp
  6. Olive oil – 2 tbsp
vegetarian
  1. Spicecraft Butter Chicken kit (makes 6 serves) – 1
  2. Tomato paste – 140g
  3. Paneer – 500g
  4. Light thickened cream – 300 ml
  5. Honey – 1 tsp
  6. Yogurt – 1 tbsp
  7. Butter – 1 tbsp
Prep

First up is the marinade.

  1. Combine contents of ‘Chicken Marinade Spices’ sachet from the Spicecraft kit with 1 tbsp of oil or yogurt.
  2. Cut up your protein and veggies into 2-3 cm pieces.
  3. Mix in the marinade paste and ensure everything is evenly coated.
  4. Allow to rest for at least 15 mins or overnight in the fridge.
Cook
  1. Grill the marinated veggies and protein on the BBQ or oven until nicely charred. If using Paneer, grill on BBQ or skip this step altogether as it will release a lot of water if cooked in the oven.
  2. To make the sauce combine the contents of ‘Sauce Pack 1’ sachet from the kit with 140g tomato paste and 1.5 cups of water. Mix well.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil or butter in a saucepan and add in the spiced tomato sauce.
  4. Bring to a boil, then gently simmer for 5 mins.
  5. Now slowly add in 300 ml light coconut cream or light thickened cream. Mix well as the colour of the sauce lightens.
  6. Stir in contents of ‘Sauce Pack 2’ sachet from the kits.
  7. Next add in 1 tbsp sugar or honey, and contents of the ‘Fenugreek leaves’ sachet from the kit. Fenugreek leaves at bitter in character and add a rounded earthiness to the flavour.
  8. Simmer for 10 mins.
  9. Add in the grilled protein – tofu/chickpeas/Paneer – and simmer until sauce thickens to a creamy consistency. Do not add the veggies at this point.
  10. Pile the grilled veggies on a plate and pour the sauce over them and mix well.
  11. Season to taste.
  12. (optional) Garnish with toasted almonds and some chopped up coriander leaves
  13. Serve hot with some rice or Naan bread.

Happy Cooking!